Today, Scott Rubin (that’s his picture above), the Junior High Pastor at Willow Creek and one of the best all around guys on the planet, is dropping by with a guest post. Do me a favor and say a few nice things in the comments so he’ll do more of this! Several years ago we wrote a little book together that I actually thought was fantastic, apparently nobody else did which is why you can go to Amazon and get your own copy for as little as $0.01 yep, one penny. At that price you may as well stretch your junior high budget and buy two or three.
The School Year is kicking off, the NFL & College football seasons are getting ready to kick off… and the new ministry year is about to kick off, too, right? (I’ll be honest – ministry “kickoffs” are a little confusing to me, because I’m pretty sure there’s no “off-season” in ministry!)
Even still, at least in the U.S., as Fall approaches, it’s a great time to re-launch our ministries. I’m super-excited about our middle-school-ministry-kickoff this Saturday night – and this gathering is special because it’s just our volunteers… no students! Here are a few simple elements that we use to help re-envision & re-engage volunteers for a great school year of ministry together!
1- Just have a gathering! If your adult leadership is just 2 or 3 people, you can do this around a table at Denny’s. If you have more leaders, you’ll obviously need a bit more room. But the key is to get leaders together! If your summer season has a different rhythm than the school year, this is a chance to help volunteers recalibrate to how your ministry will look different. In the ministry I lead, our “regular” volunteers are less involved during the summer months… so having a kickoff like this reminds them that things are about to ramp up, and their weekend schedule is about to get busier!
2- Have something to say! This is important whether you have an exciting new vision about how this ministry year will look different, or if you simply want to remind volunteers why their engagement with students is so crucial. As my senior pastor likes to say “Vision Leaks” … so it’s up to us to help volunteers remember why they do what they do. There are a whole lot of other things begging for people’s time; make sure that they have a clear picture of how God can truly use them to impact the life of a student!
3- Have a blast! One of the reasons that volunteers stay engaged in ministry is when they really enjoy being together. Plan something that will help them laugh, joke, smile, and anticipate a year of fun together!